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Scott Smith is an Asset Protection attorney and real estate investor with experience in everything to flipping houses to buying notes. Scott specializes on how to make sure you never lose money from lawsuits.
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Scott wanted to focus his business on giving people the top level of protection possible, without complicating anything or increasing taxes. “Is it possible to have the best of all worlds?” He asked himself. Turns out it is. And that’s how his business was formed. The types of protections offered, and the way people can scale infinitely with their help makes Scott’s law firm the most competitive in the country.
Scott has been a real estate investor for 8 years, which is why he exclusively works with real estate investors. Now you don’t have to hunt down a lawyer who might know some things about real estate investing. Because Scott’s law firm is so specialized, not only can he help with any of your real estate investing needs, but his team can help anyone in all 50 states. Don’t worry, we’ll have contact information further down in the show notes.
One of the biggest ways to lose money as a real estate investor is holding property in your personal name. Scott explains it like this:
“If you’re holding property in your personal name, what you’re really saying is that if anything goes wrong anywhere in your life, you’re ok with someone being able to attack anything and everything that you own.”
What Scott focuses on in his law firm is separating the assets from the operations. You should have 2 companies. One that holds your assets, cash, stocks, personal investments, etc. Then the second one is what Scott calls your “Operating Company”. That company handles the actual “business”. It’s the company that manages the hiring of new employees, dealing with contracts, handling your leases, etc.
“Lawsuits work because there has to be a connection,” Scott tells us, “between the thing people are complaining about, and the business people are complaining about.”
So if all of your operations are going through one company and someone has a problem with it, they can only sue that company. They wouldn’t be able to attack your assets because their relationship is only with the operating company you have. It’s a way to protect what you’ve worked so hard to get.
Let’s say you’re flipping in your personal name and you’re hiring all of the contractors yourself, basically acting as the GC. That means that if anyone has a complaint against you, or the property, or anything that extends to insurance liability, that whole property gets locked up if they decide to sue you. Once that property is locked like that, you won’t be able to do anything to it until the law suite is settled.
The way to get around that is by setting up your asset company as an LLC. the best place to set it up is in Texas, but there are about 10 other states that make it easy to set up. You can use that company anywhere in the US, just like any other LLC. This is your asset company. Then, from there, you would set up a local LLC for your operations company. This one has to be local because it’s where you’re doing your day to day operations of your real estate investing business.
So let’s say you get a contractor and he makes some terrible cabinets for you and you tell him that they’re not good and you’re not going to pay for them. Of course he’s going to be upset, so he decides to sue you. Well, since you hired him through your local shell LLC, he’s not able to attack your personal name or your asset holding company. That means that while the lawsuit is going on, you can still work on that property and get it sold, and all of your assets are safe in the process. Again, this is a great way to protect yourself, your assets, and your business.
In your worst case scenario, you wind the LLC down that got sued and then open up another one to act as your operations company. In the end, you might be out court fees and a settlement, but your properties are all protected. Plus, you were still able to conduct business while the court case was happening, meaning you still made money. This is a really efficient way of getting rid of issues like that.
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The post Episode 102: [ASSET PROTECTION] Protect Yourself with Scott Smith appeared first on Flipping Junkie.
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